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Daily Update: Katsuyori Shibata, Sasha Banks, Will Ospreay


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Rey Mysterio and avoiding missed opportunity

Joseph Currier looks at Rey Mysterio's current WWE run and the value he could still have to the company. Plus, Vinny's TV reviews.

After three years away from the company, Mysterio made his full-time return to WWE last fall. His current run hasn't been a failure, but this is the time when he's freshest to WWE and the fans. That hasn't really been capitalized on.

Mysterio won the US title from Samoa Joe at Money in the Bank, but his reign never got a chance to begin. He had to vacate the title after separating his shoulder. Wherever WWE was going with Mysterio's son Dominick being by his side against Joe, that's seemingly been dropped. When Mysterio returned, he was demolished by Bobby Lashley in his first match back.

Mysterio also participated in a number one contender's battle royal last month, with Rollins winning and advancing to challenge Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Mysterio defeated Zayn at Raw Reunion, though the segment was mostly about returning legends getting to appear. RVD, Sgt. Slaughter, The Hurricane, and Kurt Angle stopped Zayn from walking out. Mysterio then hit the 619 and a frog splash to get the win.

Raw Reunion capitalized on the nostalgia of returning wrestlers from previous eras. Mysterio appearing on the same episode as them showed how much of an opportunity WWE is missing with him. Even at 44 years old, Mysterio is such an incredible in-ring performer. He can still be one of the most marketable people on the roster and one of the wrestlers with the most mainstream appeal. He can still connect as a top babyface. He's a Hall of Fame wrestler that still has a ton of value to the company. WWE moved on from John Cena too quickly when he should have had time left as a top star, and they shouldn't make the same mistake with Mysterio.

WON NEWSLETTER: August 12, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Life and death of Harley Race

The early career of Harley Race, his road to the world title and his battles with Hulk Hogan is the lead story of a special double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We examine why Race made such a convincing champion, the story behind his seventh world title win over Ric Flair and how Vince McMahon attempted to sabotage what at the time was the biggest pro wrestling event in history.  We look at how the Flair vs. Race storyline at the first Starrcade went down, how Flair first became NWA champion, McMahon's big move right before Starrcade, how many modern wrestlers copied him, what he was known for in Japan, the incident with Hogan and the story behind why there was so much of a delay in the Hogan vs. Race program in WWF and why it didn't draw well.

We look at how Race first got involved in pro wrestling, the auto accident that killed his wife and nearly ended his career, his early career, how he got his first major career break at the age of 21, the legend of Bruiser & Crusher vs. The Dolly Sisters tag team, Race the street fighter, the creation of the world tag team championships in Australia, and his rise in the NWA.  We look at the unique situation that led to his first world title reign, why it was never planned and how his work in seven weeks as champion changed his entire career.  We also look at the road to his second world title.

We also update the G-1 Climax tournament with coverage of all the shows this past week with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

We cover the biggest event of the year in Mexico, TripleMania, with business notes, lots on the debut of Cain Velasquez, the story behind his moves, the return of L.A. Park, The Elite, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.

We also explore how the creative changes impacted the SummerSlam show, with notes on the different changes, the Takeover card, and the ticket demand going into the big weekend.

We look at yet another new WWE television show being proposed, Dwayne Johnson retiring as a wrestler, notes on Hobbs & Shaw, NXT business, WWE rules regarding U.K. talent, Goldberg pay, WWE looking at a major acquisition, WWE thinking about house show changes and why, WrestleMania 2021 news, an update on WWE show in Saudi Arabia, and an update on WWE touring schedule.

We have notes on how TV will be routed come October, Fox talks abut Smackdown, lots of WWE injury updates, intergender matches, WWE ticket sales, Mae Young Classic 2019, a new WWE producer, Reigns talks Dean Ambrose, Lio Rush update, a surprise return to WWE in two weeks, complaints at NXT live events about fans, Evolve news, WWE market value, most-watched shows on WWE Network, as well as a rundown on all WWE live events held over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

We've got full coverage of the UFC event in Newark headlined by Colby Covington's win over Robbie Lawler.

We also look back at the PWG 16th anniversary show, the rise of PWG, and the Battle of Los Angeles participants.

We also have full coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week.

As always, we have in-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows,the key demos for the WWE shows and what can be learned from them.

We also have the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.

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Bryan and I will be back talking Raw, SummerSlam, UFC next weekend and all the wrestling and MMA news with Wrestling Observer Radio tonight.  You can send questions to the show to

Regarding last night, Katsuyori Shibata has not been cleared to wrestle.  We don't have more info and very very few people knew about the angle last night before it happened. The angle was one of the best angles you'll ever see, with an in-depth story of Shibata being the person who got KENTA his job in New Japan and trained him for his comeback, only to have KENTA join Bullet Club and Bullet Club beat down his proteges Clark Connors and Karl Frederick in the brawl.  Shibata ran in and everyone flew with every blow he did but the number got to him and KENTA gave him a PK, the move he popularized and choked him out and then sat on him and mocked him.  The pop when he started on offense was unreal and the heat when KENTA laid him out was as well.

When you saw the angle you for sure would figure it's building KENTA vs. Shibata, which should be a super hot program, and that makes all the sense in the world.  I guess we'll know tonight or tomorrow when the new cards are announced if there's any follow-up.  Shibata has always wanted to return but doctors have said in the past that there is no way he'd be cleared.  Still, he did a lot more than you'd think, and medical diagnosis can change over time.  But we were told this morning shortly after the show that the word was Shibata was not cleared for a match.  Edge was told he would never be allowed to do anything physically in the ring but was cleared to do that spear spot last night, so never in pro wresting is a funny term.

Lots of talk regarding Sasha Banks. Becky Lynch cut a promo with Kenny McIntosh on Banks which led to speculation, especially since a few months ago the idea was Banks would probably return late summer.  Everyone has been mum on Banks of late and nobody infernally has denied an imminent return, but nobody has confirmed it either.

For Google trends over the weekend, SummerSlam did 500,000 searches making it the most searched for item on the Internet yesterday. That's the equivalent of a weak UFC PPV show.  500,000 should be considered expected level for the show.  Also yesterday, Mike Perry was the No. 11 searched item with 50,000 and Trish Stratus was No. 13, also with 50,000.  On Saturday, UFC 241 was No. 12 with 50,000, which is amazing for a show a week in advance where the topic really only came up on the ESPN television Cormier doc on E:60, and during the live show from Uruguay, which had a limited audience on ESPN+.  Valentina Shevchenko was No. 13 also with 50,000.

Will Ospreay is in the Super J Cup tournament. NJPW hasn't officially announced it, but he talked about it earlier today and he was on the original poster and had talked about wanting to wrestle Amazing Red, who is in the tournament.  But the lineup for Super J Cup in two weeks and the London show in three weeks should be announced imminently.   .


  • They are doing a TV angle where Brock Lesnar will not be given a rematch with Seth Rollins.
  • Steve Austin will appear on Raw tonight on Skype to promote his Straight Up Steve Austin show that debuts at 11 p.m. after Raw. 
  • Raw in particular tonight should get a big rating coming off SummerSlam. The key thing to watch for is if they're able to keep the third hour strong like they've been doing the past several weeks.
  • NXT is taping on Thursday at Full Sail University.
  • Regarding last night's Observer radio, when Dolph Ziggler was using the term "failing to show up" for Goldberg, it wasn't about the idea he didn't show up for matches, but it was a sports term for being there and not doing anything.


  • Jessica Eye returns to action on the 12/14 show in Las Vegas, a PPV show, against Viviane Araujo.
  • MMA Junkie reported Kevin Holland vs. Antonio Arroyo on 11/16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Holland talked about it in social media but the story said the bout is in the works but not confirmed.   


  • ITV officially announced what we reported a few days ago, that the 8/31 AEW All Out show will air on regular PPV in the U.K. on ITV Box Office.  In addition, ITV 4 will be airing the one-hour Buy In preshow,which will include the women's Casino Royale match to determine one person who will challenge for the AEW title on the 10/2 television debut when the championship will be determined.
  • Defyance Forever on 8/23 in Tacoma,a WA at the Temple Theater has announced Jushin Liger & Karl Fredericks & Alex Coughlin vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & Mike Santiago & Ethan HD, Juice Robinson vs. Randy Myers, Dragon Lee vs. Douglas James, Rocky Romero vs. Clark Connors and Matt Cross vs. Cody Chhun vs. Guillermo Rosas vs. Judas Icarus.
  • TMart Promotions is running The Gathering a Mid Atlantic legends reunion from Thursday through Sunday at the Charlotte Hilton University Hotel.  Names listed are Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, Kevin Sullivan, Lanny Poffo, Ron Fuller, Jake Roberts, Tommy Dreamer, Kurt Angle, Boogeyman, Brutus Beefcake, Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane, Lex Luger, Kendo Nagasaki, Greg Gagne, Marc Lowrance, Carlos Colon, Missy Hyatt, Hollywood John Tatum, Larry Zbyszko, Fidel Sierra, Ricky Santana, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey, Shane Douglas, Dark Journey, Baron Von Raschke, Al Perez, Jimmy Golden, Bobby Fulton, Rob Parker, Mr. Hughes, Swoggle, Scarlett Bordeaux, Katarina Leigh, Lodi, Tommy Young, Tim Horner, Leilaini Kai and many others.
  • Santana Garrett debuted ten years ago this week, on August 15, 2009.  They are celebrating that at Team Vision Dojo with $10 training sessions with Garrett in Orlando. 
  • AWA on Saturday night in Queensland, Australia:  EC Diamond won Battle Royale, Xadner Sullivan won three-way over Adam Brooks and Sebastian Matters, Mitch McCarthy won three-way over JL Gold and Zeke Andino, Retro Bros b Divine Darkness, Punch Drunk Instria b Gino Gambino, Xander Sullivan b Mitch McCarthy to win AWA open weight title in tournament final, Jessica Troy b Kellyanne, High Manatee b Jake Nova & Jesse Daniels & Tim Kade in a ladder match.  This was Gambino's last show in Australia for the near future. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Chris Jericho has a new website.
  • CWE from Saturday night in Winnipeg:  Mentallo b Chad Dazzle, Kevin Cannon b Maverick West, Sam Davidson b Dragneel, Kevy Chevy b Kelly Russell-DQ, Adam Knight b Math Magician, Bobby Jay & Kevy Chevy b Kevin Cannon & Scott Ripley.  Next show is a free show Saturday in Arborg, Manitoba.
  • Tenille Dashwood was announced as returning to Australia in August for NHPW.-
  • A story on Robbie Eagles from Kotaku.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Hiroshi Tanahashi wins 2018 G1 Climax